The Supreme Court ruling in 2018 that solidified changes to legalize sports betting nation-wide opened up a world of opportunities and choices for sports bettors. With eight states already fully embracing the new revenue stream, the future of legalized sports betting is looking bright.
However, many of those who are eager to get started don’t really know where to begin. From unrealistic winning expectations, to figuring out which sportsbooks are worth their trust, the world of sports betting can be a trying place.
If you’re thinking of entering the world of sports betting, here’s a handy guide to the basics to help you understand what to do when contacting a sportsbook.
Components of a Sports Bet
There are three components to a sports bet: selection, stake and odds.
The selection component is what you’re choosing to bet your money on, i.e., which team, person, horse etc.
Stake is how much you want to bet. If you’re betting $10 on a soccer game, then the stake is $10.
The odds can be the most confusing part for players. Odds indicate how likely something is to occur and they determine how much the sportsbook will pay out on a winning bet.
The higher the odds, the less likely the outcome will occur, but the more you could win relative to your stake. The more likely an outcome will occur, the lower the odds. You would expect to win less when betting on an outcome that is likely to happen.
Before you settle on a sportsbook, take time to do some thorough research to ensure that what the sportsbook offers meets your needs and standards. You can start this research by taking a look at user feedback. You can also look for expert analysis that is available on almost every sportsbook.
Also, keep a lookout for sign-up bonuses if it is your first time using that particular sportsbook, and check out their cash out policy to make sure it meets your needs. EML provides general purpose reloadable cards through PointsBet to make the process of loading your account to place bets and receiving your winnings seamless and quick.
Another key piece of information to keep in mind when picking a sportsbook is there are three types: sharp, sure and reduced juice.
Sharp Sportsbooks cater to the casual bettor. They typically have fairly low limits and usually offer excellent lines for underdogs and unders, because novice bettors like to bet on favorites and overs.
Sure sportsbooks typically take the highest limits on games, and usually have the best lines on favorites and overs. Some books, like CRIS, will at times take six figure bets during the NFL season.
Reduced juice books are far more suitable for every day bettors since they usually have lines of -105 or -106. To understand this, know that a bettor would need to win 52.38% of their bets to break even with standard juice (-110) so having lines at -105 drops that percentage to 51.22%.
Hit Rate, Probability and Value
To take your sports betting to the next level, make sure you’re not basing your decision on your gut, but instead take a look at the numbers/odds when making your decision. Although there are sheer-luck winners, if you want to be successful in the long run, understanding the numbers is where the real money is at.
When you’re betting on sports, your hit rate is the number of bets you win in relation to the bets you placed overall. It is normally looked at as a percentage, so if you place 70 bets, and won 35, then your hit rate is 50%. Although a 100% hit rate is every bettors dream, it is an unrealistic hit rate.
Probability is pretty straightforward – it is a measure of how likely something is to happen. It is usually expressed as a decimal between 0 and 1 in which 0 indicates impossibility and 1 indicates certainty.
In sports betting however, probability is not so straightforward. Since it is nearly impossible to determine or calculate the outcome of a sports event due to all the factors involved, you simply cannot determine a definitively accurate probability no matter how many statistics you apply.
Expected value relates to how much you can expect to win from a wager. This is, in theory, a measure based on the probability of winning.
Sports betting can be fun, but it does come with risks. Always keep what you’re investing and the risks in mind as you move forward with sports betting.
If you’re looking to partake in sports betting in the US, make sure you’re prepared with an EML general purpose reloadable card, available through PointsBet. It will make placing bets and cashing winnings a breeze. Take a look for more information on general purpose reloadable cards for sport betting purposes.